As an HR professional for more than a decade I’ve seen my share of office romances. Some of them are successful enough to lead to a flourishing relationship for years on end. Others lead to the ditches… and so is employee performance. Here are some tips you could use to manage office romance.
Don’t be an office romance police
You don’t want to have a “Romeo and Juliet” scenario in your hands. It’s much more effective to have policies that will guide behavior while on the job. Examples of which are rules against public displays of affection. Emphasize in your policies that if relationships interfere with work duties, then disciplinary action may be needed.
Take note of the supervisor-subordinate relationship
If there is one kind of relationship that is truly dangerous for your company it is one of management-subordinate relationship. If the relationship is going well, other employees may claim preferential treatment. And if it goes poorly, your company could be vulnerable to harassment claims and litigation. It is best that this kind of relationship is banned altogether.
Put sexual harassment awareness front and center
Any information, education, and communication effort and materials about office romances should always include discussion of your company’s policies around sexual harassment prevention. Make sure your HR policies on office romances aligned with rules against sexual harassment.
Love has always been a difficult area to navigate… both personally and professionally. Nonetheless, it is a rollercoaster we all enjoy and should be treasured. Happy Valentines!